Manchester United will get the jitters, says Brian Kidd in show of Manchester City pride

Assistant manager refuses to concede title race and demands side keep on battling

When Brian Kidd walked into the press room it felt like part anti-climax/part Roberto Mancini evasion strategy. But it turned out to be a breath of fresh of air as the assistant manager gave voice to what Manchester City fans will probably admit they wish their team's manager had been saying for weeks.

The title race is not finished, as a matter of fact, claimed Kidd. "We are champions and we want to fight until the end. There will be jittery moments [for Manchester United] As champions you go out with pride. If you going to lose it you are going to lose it by getting knocked out, like a great boxer would – not on his stool."

Yes, of course it is a ridiculously tall order. The jitters Kidd alluded to were United blowing the title when eight points clear with six to play last season. Now they lead by a whopping 13 points with City six games from the finish and United five. If City lose at Tottenham tomorrow, United can regain the championship by winning at Aston Villa on Monday evening.

But let's give thanks for someone – a someone who won four titles as a manager and one as a player at Old Trafford, don't forget – coming out to give it a bit of noise, in the way you imagine Sir Alex Ferguson would. Kidd neatly sidestepped the question when asked whether Ferguson would ever publicly concede the title race over before it was over. "You talk about Alex…" he said but did not proceed to do so himself, swerving into another train of thought in the way he is in inclined to do.

But the answer is almost certainly: 'No. Fergie doesn't quit. Or not in public, at least.'

The oratory continued. As he offered a tour of all those "flair" players he wanted to name-check for delivering in spades – Gareth Barry was quite rightly up there, along with James Milner and Matija Nastasic – you could not help but think what a restorative effect it would have if Mancini tried this more often. The Italian only says nice things about his players when asked a leading question about how good they are and his habitual honesty about their weaknesses often makes things come out all wrong. There was a baffling comment on Wednesday after the win over Wigan about Micah Richards still not being fit enough, which sounded like another put down about a defender who had just played his first game since October. Mancini was given the benefit of the doubt.

It is stretching things somewhat to discuss Sunday's game, as Mancini has, in terms of City sealing second spot. The position is theirs. They have a far better squad than Tottenham – and so they should, with the resources at their disposal – albeit that in Gareth Bale Spurs have an impact player of width and pace. But Kidd's talk, using the word "champions" rather than delivering that whining appraisal of United being "lucky" and "five yards ahead" that Mancini takes recourse in, exposed one area in which they often do trail Spurs. Motivation.

Kidd, who said City will probably be without David Silva but should have Sergio Aguero fit to play, ranged off-message, treating Mancini's suggestion that United had been "lucky" with almost as much incredulity as his old boss Ferguson did, a week or so ago.

"I've been there and I keep hearing these stories that it is luck," he said of United. "It is not luck. It is ingrained in them." A contradiction between manager and assistant to rejoice in.

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?